Wipe that Smile Off Your Face, Sir

Last week there was talk that the next step in airport screening would be body cavity searches, but there seems to be something even more invasive on the horizon: face scans. The Wall Street Journal, no doubt with a keen eye to the profit opportunities presented by the new paranoia, reports on the TSA’s development of technology that will scan your face for any traces of a suppressed emotion, like a murderous impulse or extreme aggravation at yet another airport screening delay. Already in Knoxville, TN the TSA is trying out a manual procedure, first developed in Israel, in which screeners will look really closely at passengers and try to detect "vocal timbre, gestures and tiny facial movements" that indicate a potential terrorist attack. The next step is an interview in a closed room. What happens next is a little hazy: Guantanamo? The CIA rendition program? But don’t worry: the company involved hopes to improve the screening process so that no more than 4% of innocent travelers are dragged off to the next stage in the terrorist inquiry. No figures on the acceptable number of terrorists making it through the system.

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1 Comment

  1. Note the following.
    Assume 1 in every thousand passengers is a terrorist – surely a wild exaggeration.
    This sytem will ‘catch’ 85 terrorists and 7,992 innocent people from every 100,000 passengers.
    This would stop international flights dead.


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